Palm Harbor, Florida

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Palm Harbor, Florida
Location in Pinellas County and the state of Florida
Location in Pinellas County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 28°5′2″N 82°45′14″W / 28.08389°N 82.75389°W / 28.08389; -82.75389Coordinates: 28°5′2″N 82°45′14″W / 28.08389°N 82.75389°W / 28.08389; -82.75389
CountryUnited States
 • Total26.6 sq mi (68.9 km2)
 • Land17.4 sq mi (45.0 km2)
 • Water9.2 sq mi (23.9 km2)
49 ft (15 m)
 • Total64,301
 • Density2,400/sq mi (930/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)727
FIPS code12-54350[1]
GNIS feature ID0288399[2]

Palm Harbor is a census-designated place and unincorporated community in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. As of the 2016 American Community Survey, the CDP had a population of 60,236.[3]


Palm Harbor is located 35 kilometres (22 mi) north of downtown St. Petersburg and west of Tampa. It is a largely residential community with several concentrations of commerce. Downtown Palm Harbor, north of Tampa Road between U.S. Highway 19 Alternate and Omaha Street hosts many small shops and eateries along with a handful of historic buildings.[4] U.S. Highway 19, a mile or two east of downtown, offers access to higher concentrations of commerce, with an array of national chain restaurants and retailers. One entrance to Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, a nationally regarded golf course and home of the PGA's Valspar Championship, is found on U.S. 19 just north of Alderman Road.

The historic downtown district of Palm Harbor, at Florida Avenue and Alt. US 19 and CR 1, has numerous festivals and craft fairs. Old Palm Harbor Main Streets, Inc., a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, hosts their signature event the first Friday of every month. "Palm Harbor's First Friday Celebrations" are a popular community event for youngsters and adults alike. There are rides and games for the children, with opportunities to dine on food from the many local restaurants, enjoy local artists and crafters displaying and selling their wares. Annually, the first Sunday in October marks when the "Taste of Palm Harbor" festival is held. The event is presented by the Palm Harbor Junior Women's Club with the proceeds benefiting their "Making a Difference" grants & scholarships program. The Taste of Palm Harbor traditionally offers live music and the tasting of samples from over 20 local restaurants, many of which make seafood their specialty.


Palm Harbor is an unincorporated part of Pinellas County. HB 183 – Town of Palm Harbor/Pinellas County,[5] from 2009, was the most recent local bill that would have scheduled a referendum allowing Palm Harbor voters the opportunity to decide if they want to incorporate, but the bill died in committee.[6] Pinellas County legislators had voted on January 22, 2009, to support a bill allowing voters in Palm Harbor to decide if they wanted their unincorporated community to become the county's 25th city. It passed over the objections of Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala, who said she was appearing in both her official capacity and as a Palm Harbor resident. The Legislature would have needed to first conduct a feasibility study to make sure cityhood made fiscal sense.[7]

In 1985, the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners enacted County Code 85-28,[8] which set into place the Palm Harbor Community Services Agency (PHCSA), a special taxing district to which tax was levied in the form of millage to provide for recreational and library services to the unincorporated community. The PHCSA board is a volunteer panel elected by the voters within the district to oversee the funding of Palm Harbor Library, East Lake Community Library and Palm Harbor Parks & Recreation.[9]


Palm Harbor has various recreational amenities. The area is home to John Chesnut, Sr. Park, located in the East Lake region,[10] as well as H.S. "Pop" Stansell Park, located to the west of Palm Harbor Boulevard and overlooking St. Joseph's Sound. The Palm Harbor Community Services District also manages several sport complexes in the community: Steve Putnam Park, Palm Field, and Sunderman Recreation Complex.[11] The community activity center is located at 1500 16th Street, managed by the District's parks and recreation department. This facility was originally constructed by Pinellas County in the late 1990s as a senior recreation facility, however lacked the funding to remain open and available to the community. The District received the property in 2004, and started youth, teen and adult programs, youth summer camps and community services.[12]

Palm Harbor is also the home to the White Chapel. This historic facility, which was under Pinellas County ownership previously, lacked the funding to keep its doors opened and was given to the Palm Harbor Community Services District in November 2012.[13] Now managed by the District's parks and recreation department, the chapel was completely restored and is the site for many banquets, weddings and community special events. Harbor Hall, the banquet facility built next to the chapel, also serves as a banquet and recreational space.


Palm Harbor is located at 28°5′2″N 82°45′14″W / 28.08389°N 82.75389°W / 28.08389; -82.75389 (28.083926, -82.753947).[14]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 26.6 square miles (68.9 km2), of which 17.4 square miles (45.0 km2) is land, and 9.2 square miles (23.9 km2) (34.67%) is water.[15]

Palm Harbor has a unique "hilly" geography which is uncommon in Florida.


The area that is now Palm Harbor was largely uninhabited until settlers began arriving in the 1860s. The area became known as "Curlew", with the Curlew Pioneer Cemetery, established in 1869, and the Curlew Methodist Church. A post office named "Bay St. Joseph" opened in 1878. In 1881, Henry B. Plant opened the San Marino Hotel in what later became Palm Harbor in 1885. The Gulf View Hotel also opened around that time. The Sutherland Improvement Company acquired land in the Curlew/Bay St. Joseph area and developed it into the settlement of Sutherland. In 1888 the Sutherland Post Office opened. The Orange Belt Railway reached Sutherland in 1890.[16]

The name was changed to Palm Harbor in 1925. Sutherland boasted two beautiful hotels, the larger one becoming Southern College in 1902. It sat high on the bluff overlooking Sutherland Bayou and the Gulf of Mexico. Sutherland was thought to be named after the Duke of Sutherland, who visited these parts after landing at Tarpon Springs in 1887. Local pioneers dismiss this coincidence, pointing out that the name Sutherland is a shortening of Southern Land and Development Company, the group which originally platted the community in 1888.[citation needed]

Palm Harbor was once home to the Florida State Headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan when Donald Kersey, who was not a member of the Klan, allowed the organization to use his 13 acre property just north of Tampa Road on US-19 beginning in 1977. Kersey allowed the KKK to use his land when a portion of it was rezoned from commercial to residential which cost him a substantial amount of money. The KKK told Kersey that they needed to go underground to not gain any attention from authorities but that his land would be a great place to try to recruit people into the organization. Kersey stated that he told the zoning commission that he would make them pay for their zoning decisions which ended up bringing the Klan to the small unincorporated town. The land was sold in 2006 with a large strip mall built on it with a subdivision behind that structure. While Kersey got his revenge on the zoning committee with his actions, the locals did resist since the building was burned down on four separate occasions and the Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution condemning the group and the actions of Mr. Kersey. Once his actions were known to locals, his house was set ablaze when someone tried to burn the KKK buildings down on the property. Although the land was sold in 2006, the KKK activity began to wane in the 1990s according to several locals who lived in the town during that time. No remnants of this exist in the present day town and many locals wish to keep it that way.[17]


Historical population
Census Pop.

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 59,248 people, 25,461 households, and 16,906 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,276.6/km2 (3,306.8/mi2). There were 28,044 housing units at an average density of 604.2/km2 (1,565.2/mi2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.83% White, 0.97% African American, 0.19% American Indian, 1.28% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 1.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.45% of the population.

There were 25,461 households, out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.3% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.79.

In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 20.8% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 23.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $45,404, and the median income for a family was $52,925. Males had a median income of $41,003 versus $29,287 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $26,470. About 4.3% of families and 5.5% of the population were considered below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  3. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2016 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Palm Harbor CDP, Florida". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  4. ^ "Downtown Palm Harbor Becoming Coffee Drinker's Paradise". Archived from the original on October 3, 2011.
  5. ^ "Florida House of Representatives – HB 183 – A bill to be entitled". 2009.
  6. ^ "Florida House of Representatives – HB 183 – Pinellas County".
  7. ^ Staff Analysis: Military & Local Affairs Policy Committee 3/23/2009 7:03:38 PM
  9. ^ "Palm Harbor Community Services Agency, Inc".
  10. ^ "John Chesnut Sr. Park".
  11. ^ "CSA Palm Harbor Parks & Recreation – Facilities".
  12. ^ "Palm Harbor community center updating, rebranding".
  13. ^ "White Chapel and Harbor Hall gets new manager". 10 News In Your Neighborhood.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  15. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Palm Harbor CDP, Florida". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  16. ^ Schnur, James Anthony (2011). "Palm Harbor by the Decades: The Early Years". University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Palm Harbor CDP, Florida". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  19. ^ "CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING (1790–2000)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  20. ^ Barone, Michael; Ujifusa, Grant (1987). The Almanac of American Politics 1988. National Journal. p. 258.
  21. ^ "Richard Scheinblum".
  22. ^ Bilirakis, Gus. "Congressman". Bilirakis House. Retrieved August 14, 2020.

External links[edit]

Taxing Authorities Within Palm Harbor[edit]

Local community links[edit]